Health, Wellbeing, and Social Sciences Student of the Year – Connie Brogan

Congratulations to Connie Brogan who has been named Student of the Year for our Health, Wellbeing and Social Sciences faculty, as well as Waterfront Nursery Student of the Year.

Connie, who is 17 and has been studying for an NC in Childcare and Early Learning told us about her College experience so far.

“I was delighted to hear that I had been recognised. I really enjoyed my placement at the Waterfront Nursery. I loved my time there as I learned so much from the staff and the children – it gave me a real insight into child development, and how best to support and nurture children as they learn and grow.

I chose Edinburgh College as I was aware of the opportunities, choice, and range of courses available that would enable me to study towards a qualification in my chosen career, working with children. I was also aware that the College route would allow me to progress to degree level, while at the same time gaining recognised qualifications, step by step at a pace suited to my learning. The NC course includes a mix of classroom learning and placements, which having dyslexia and being a visual learner, that really appealed to me.

Having completed my second year of studies at College, I feel I have grown in confidence, due to the skills and knowledge I have learned in Childcare which have helped me in class, and on placements. I have a good relationship with my fellow students, and lecturers and I have learned so much from the Childcare professionals on my placement.

The placements have been the highlight for me, supporting the children – particularly in the nursery setting – has helped me understand how they develop and learn, and how in my role I can play a part in this. I have lovely memories of the children which I will cherish.

I have faced challenges over my time in College, firstly adjusting from school life, having left school at 15 years old.  I also have dyslexia and dyspraxia, and I am a young carer to my sister, with each bringing their own challenges. I lacked confidence, and doubted my ability, and was sometimes afraid to ask for help.  But College has pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me learn new skills, meet new people, and organise myself to be able to deal with a long commute to College each day. I’ve gained confidence from the skills I have learned and the assessments I passed. Being able to access help from the support teams, even sometimes as a listening ear has been invaluable in my learning journey at College.

Looking to the future, I have applied for the HNC Childhood Practice course, and I hope to gain relevant experience in paid work to achieve my future career goal, working with children and young people.

Curriculum Manager Lindsey Chisholm said: “Congratulations to Connie. Feedback from Connie’s workplace (The Waterfront Nursery) was exemplary and I was lucky enough to see her give a presentation in class, and I was blown away by her increased confidence and knowledge. She is now supporting other students, and has taken a role as a leader within the group – a truly deserving winner of her awards.”